Projecting the right Vibe is a huge thing, but this concept is very much underestimated by a lot of guys. Projecting a confident and socially dominant, yet positive, relaxed and most importantly genuine Vibe, projecting that kind of Vibe can do wonders to your life. People respect you immediately, they give you full consideration and full attention from the get go, they are extra kind and willing to “work for” you, life is just better.
Problem is, that kind of Vibe is not so easily gotten, mainly because of the “genuine” attribute. Actually, it cannot be easily gotten, since if it was, that would be an ordinary and even somewhat expected trait, and as such, having that trait would not give your Fundamentals any extra boost. I mentioned this already a few times, but let me stress it once again: there being a significant “barrier to entry” is a good thing, since it makes whatever we are going after more difficult to reach, and more valuable as a result. Every time there is a significant barrier to entry to overcome, the vast majority of people attempting the feat give up along the way, and this is good news for the few strong-willed individuals who go all the way, no matter how difficult that journey can be, and who get to reap the rewards in the end.
When it comes to Looks, there are a few unchangeables we just need to accept, and quite a lot of changeables where we can focus our efforts on. With Vibe the situation is even better, since there are still a few things outside of our control (mainly personality type, personality disorders, IQ), but compared to Looks we have even more leverage on the changeables. That was for the good news. For the less-good news, meaningful changes to Vibe can only be had in the longer term, for reason that we will discuss in a short while.
Later on the conversation will get detailed as usual, but let me just tell you something before we dive in: since roughly age 16, when I grew out of my childhood shyness, I’ve always done fairly well in terms of having a dominant Vibe and a cocky-funny attitude, each time relative the my age, of course. My personality has remained pretty much consistent over the years, with just some oscillations around that baseline driven mainly by the evolution of my own perception and my perception of life itself, and by the maturity gained through experiences. But the initial baseline has remained consistent, just enhanced slightly over the years. I thought I had reached a plateau around age 30 or so, when I started living life much more lightly, and I started putting many things around me into a new and different perspective compared to the past. Then I had a major problem last year, the kind of problem that if it doesn’t kill you make you stronger for real, and the new me is like the evolution of what I was before: nothing anymore is a big deal, I learned to appreciate the little things of life without taking them for granted, I understood that some of the “big problems” are just little trivialities overall, I’m much kinder to everyone, while still keeping the dominant cocky-funny traits I had before, and my Vibe has become rock-solid as a result. And let me tell you this: the difference I notice in the way I’m treated by people is noticeable.
Another thing before we get started: like the guide on maximising Looks, this post is huge, more than 9000 words, hence I recommend to either bookmark this page and come back here a few times, or print it. It’s just too much info to fully digest in one go.
Everything we are going to discuss focuses on the “dominant” aspect of Vibe, hence not to the value of someone as a person. And the way I use “dominant” is very much equivalent to “confident,” but my problem with the word “confident” is that it has been over-used in recent years, and just like the over-used corporate buzzwords, it has lost its meaning in the end.
If we hypothetically consider “dominance” as something that ranges between two extreme values of 0% and 100%, the two components defining someone’s “perceived dominance,” and their respective contributions, are:
● Inner Core (80%)
● External conscious movements (20%) (skip down)
Someone may object that everything related to “perceived dominance” has to do with external movements, and this is why I added the word “conscious” to the second bullet point. That bullet point contains everything we would not naturally do based on how we feel inside, and hence we need to make a conscious effort to remember about those things, and practice them until the switch from knowledge to habit happens.
In theory, someone’s “perceived dominance” may come 100% from his Inner Core, and maybe it was the case in a very distant past, when masculinity was something to strive for and to cultivate, rather than something to be ashamed of and to keep hidden, but that distant past is long gone. In our ever more politically-correct and feminised society, someone would be lucky to be not too far away from the 80% as we are going to define it below.
Important note: as we said already, this blog is primarily intended for guys who first want to improve themselves, and then get better with women. I know there are quite a few women reading this blog at times, and let me tell you that I’m extremely happy about this. The reason this makes me happy is because I’m very much in peace with women, I actually adore women, and ideally I would like the guys reading this blog to be aligned with this mentality of mine. But let me get this straight with you girls: if on one side I adore women, on the other side I detest the social conditioning that tries to pass “sameness” for “equality,” since the two are very different things, one of which is very good, and the other of which is very bad. And if on one side I adore sweet feminine women, on the other side they adore me, because I have a confident, dominant and funny Vibe, and they just cannot get enough of that. In my workplace, where I’m surrounded by women and they are pretty much all taken, hence nothing is at stake there, I clearly see the way those women interact with me, and the way they interact with the more submissive and more boring men in there. The perception those women colleagues of mine have of most of my men colleagues very much transpires through their body language, and if the interactions those women have with me are more father-daughter-like, or little-girl-to-man-like, the interactions they have with the other men are more mother-son-like, or empowered-woman-to-weak-man-like. If you combine real masculinity with a careless, cocky, funny, yet kind attitude, you will literarily be surrounded by women smiling at you all day long, and even if they are not sexually available, they will just transmit you so much positive energy, life is just better. Hence, my above comment on masculinity still stands: masculinity, which is what makes a man confident and keeps him away from supplicating and submissive behaviour, is definitely good.
Without further ado, let’s dive in now.
The Inner Core (80%)
Let’s consider a house of a few floors, with all the windows open. There is nobody home, and nobody in the neighbourhood. If a burglar wanted to break in, it couldn’t be easier than that. Let’s consider the burglar as someone who wants to out-frame you, and your Vibe as the house with all the windows wide open and nobody home. That’s what the situation looks like when your dominance is very low, you are like a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean, completely driven by external forces.
Let’s assume now that you decided to do something about it, you went onto the Internet and read a guide of the kind “how to be confident in 50 steps.” Now you know that you need to position your body in a certain way in certain situations, that you need to talk in a certain way in certain circumstances, that you need to make certain eye contact when talking to certain people, etc. Going back to our previous example, that would be the equivalent of closing a few windows on the ground floor: the burglar finds the first window closed, and he just proceeds to break in from the window nearby. If the Internet guide is real good, and you make a lot of effort to assimilate what it says and to remember what to do when, you may even shut down all the ground-floor windows. And that may put off a few burglars, but the more experienced of them will just look up, see that there is the balcony door wide open on the first floor, which is also fairly easy to reach, and proceed to break in like that: out-framed again.
There is no getting away from it: confidence is something you develop through achievements, not by reading guides on the Internet (including this one). To develop a confident and dominant Vibe, you need to have achieved something worthwhile, you need to have gone out of your comfort zone, fought your fears, and kept the excuse-generating part of your mind at bay when it wanted you to give up. That’s the only way.
Let’s look at this quote from Rocky V, the polished version of it actually, with Balboa talking to Tommy:
You see, fear is a fighter’s best friend. But it ain’t nothing to be ashamed of. Fear keeps you sharp, it keeps you awake, it makes you want to survive.
But the thing is, you gotta learn how to control it. ‘Cause fear is like this fire. And it’s burning deep inside.
Now, if you control it, Tommy, it’s gonna make you hot. But, if this thing here, it controls you, it’s gonna burn you and everything else around you up.
Confidence is developed only stepping outside your comfort zone, since if this was not the case, that zone would not be referred to as “comfort.” Confidence is developed when you are about to do something that greatly frightens you, and either you stay in there yourself and do it, without making excuses, or someone else makes you stay there and do it, without listening to your excuses. At that point you are forced to face your fears, rather than running away from them, then you proceed to do whatever it is that was previously frightening you, and by the time you are finished with it, you are much stronger than you were before. That “scary” thing can be a tough sport competition, a presentation in front of 5/50/500/5000 people, going out with a group of people you don’t know, jumping off an aircraft with a parachute, etc.
Problem is, masculinity is under heavy attack these days, and our politically-correct society wants you to amalgamate to the mass and be aligned with whatever the latest way of thinking is, it wants you to become a compliant and obedient good little puppet.
There is no easy way to work on your Inner Core Vibe in our delightful “digital” era, and the only advice I can you give on this point, which is the most important one when it comes to improving your confidence and self-esteem, is to make a conscious effort to identify possible ways to step out of your comfort zone and face your fears. That’s the only way.
Look at me: back in my adolescence I was a swimmer, and when I was either 15 or 16, the coach wanted me to swim the 1500m in a meet. That was a scary distance, considering that I was mainly doing 50m, 100m and 200m at the time, and rarely the 400m. It takes a full 60 laps to complete 1500m, and that was certainly scary to me at the time. But guess what, something “amazing” happened just the day of the meet: I had a few lines of fever, and I felt relieved as a result, since that would have prevented me to swim the 60 laps. As you can imagine, I was barely able to contain my joy when I saw the thermometer was showing something like 37.5°C (99.5°F).
I was ready to do it, but I just feel sick today, and I *really* cannot do it.
And guess what: the coach summoned my mother, and they decided I was going to do it anyway!! They made me do it anyway!! They saw a little kid making an excuse not to face his fears, and they didn’t let the kid get away with it. That coach proved to be a complete dickhead later on in life, but I’m grateful to him for what he did on that occasion. Two years later I swam the 5000m without being scared in the slightest first!
Shortly after I left my home town to go to University, and that proved to be a shock. I was leaving behind my girlfriend, my parents, my brother, all my friends, and I was moving to a city which was new to me, where I did not have any friends, where I was living in the outskirts, where I was literarily starting life from scratch. I felt terrible for a few days, until I “finally” took a decision: I was quitting Uni to go back home. I had already thought of the logistics, including what to do with the renting contract of my room, and I called my mother to make the announcement. She was extremely sad the day they drove me to this new city, 400km away from my home town, and I thought she would have been relieved that I was going back home. But she was irremovable on the phone instead:
Don’t even try to come back. You made a decision to go and study that particular field which is available in that far away city, that decision was carefully reflected upon, this is what is best for you, and now you stay in there. Stop whining.
Oh shit! I was shocked indeed. I thought she would have comforted me, telling me that I was such a good boy alone in such a remote city, and that it would have been perfectly ok for me to give up everything after two weeks and go back to the nest. Not sure what I was going to do back home, I had not thought about that, but the important was for me to go back to my previous life. And I was shocked that I was called on my whiny excuses, it was a real cold shower. Talking to my brother, allegedly my mother cried for days in a row after that call, because actually she missed me a great deal, and to this day, 14 years later, she always has tears in her eyes when the last day of my rare holiday back home arrives, and I’m due to set off again. But back in 2005, she prohibited rigorously to give up and go back home, since that would have meant me surrendering to my fears and my insecurities. And to this day, I keep thinking at how much my current personality and my current confidence have been influenced by this single episode, and by other minor but still very much relevant episodes like the one of the swimming race.
Compare this to the colleague of mine we talked about already in a different post: he had been training for a few months for a competition, and just before the competition he fell sick, apparently. He was off work, didn’t go to the competition, and then when he came back to the office he explained to me:
That’s too bad I couldn’t attend the competition, but I was sick, I *really* couldn’t go. I tried to wait to see if things got better, but eventually I decided I had to take some drugs, and at that point it was official I could not have gone.
You should have seen the spark in his eyes when he said that he had finally decided to take the drugs, since that would have set in stone his valid excuse not to go. Problem was that, as he was explaining those things to me, he was showing pacifiers all over, and me knowing how to read body language, it was clear that they were only a bunch of excuses. The little kid making excuses inside him never grew up, and it showed in that occasion and in a multitude of other occasions in the office. As long as he keeps behaving like that, he will not develop any real confidence, and this clearly shows in his submissive demeanour.
Levels of Inner Core Vibe
We will now look at the nine levels associated to Inner Core Vibe. When it comes to project a genuine dominant Vibe, different people are held back by different factors, the main of which are:
● Low-status behaviours
The more people can eradicate both of these factors, the closer they get to the top in terms of Vibe.
Inner Core 0%
I saw a guy a few months back on a bus, sitting next to his mother. He must have been in his early twenties, and he was sitting down taking as less space as possible, keeping his head always down, projecting his own major self-esteem issue for the world to see. The mother was just your average entitled diva, and I really felt sorry for that guy, since in terms of confidence he was the lowest I’ve seen all my life.
Inner Core 10%
Ok-ish with their close friends, but outgoing interactions with strangers are mainly limited to the Internet.
Inner Core 20%
Getting better, able to talk to a variety of people in real life, still extremely shy and with major issues in saying “no” to people.
Inner Core 30%
Nice Guy characterised by approval-seeking behaviour: he is fearful of the judgement of others, he’s always making sure nobody takes the slightest offence at what he says, and he’s overly diplomatic, but overall he’s more outgoing than the previous level. That colleague of mine I was talking about before is clearly here.
Up to this level, it’s all about submissiveness holding people back, since low-status behaviour is pretty much absent considering that these guys are so scared of the judgement other people have of them. Starting from next level,
Inner Core 40%
Nice Guy who is somewhat confident with people he knows well, but on the other hand only disagrees through jokes with people he sees as “higher status” than him, since he’s unable to have a calm and serious discussion to express a different point with them.
In addition to the above, people at this level on one side typically crash under pressure and may also have explosions of low-status behaviour, on the other side they are overly “diplomatic” and often go away submissively without saying anything even if they had a different point of view during a conversation. My father is part of the first group, one of my uncles (his brother) of the second, and their case clearly shows the key role parents have in determining whether their sons grow up as masculine men or not. Going back to the second group of people, there are times when it’s perfectly ok to go away without saying anything, especially if you don’t have much consideration for the people having the conversation to start with, but the body language must not be “I should have said something” while going away.
I would say most of the try-hards are here as well, and like in the previous two examples, they too have some self-esteem issues to deal with. In here we also have autocratic despotic people, who abuse their position of power to make other people feel miserable (everyone except them is an idiot, sure) and feel satisfied by the apparent feeling of superiority their position gives them.
And just to complete the picture, I’d say here we also have emotional predators, who manipulate people around them for their own pleasure, and who exploit people’s vulnerabilities through negs and shit like that. I have a friend who is not that bad overall, but it’s just one neg after the other after the other, and it’s just more than I like to deal with, hence at some point I decided to limit the interactions with him to the bare minimum. Negging is not just with the girls, it’s every time someone tries to exploit a real or possible vulnerability of another person, to put that person down and themselves up as a result. One day you scratch your car, you feel bad about it, and when a “friend” of yours noticed it, he proceeds to tease you on that, rather than showing empathy towards you. One girl has had her hair cut shorter than she wanted to, and the colour much darker than she wanted, and she feels very bad about it. She then sees the very same “friend,” and he proceeds to tease her on that, showing no empathy towards her. “Friends” like that try to shake you by leveraging your own fears and insecurities, trying to instil self-doubt in you. Then, the very same people attempt to appear “high value” in the eyes of a girl they just approached by using a classical PUA “neg.” These examples are all related to the broad concept of negging, and if you ask me, this is what I think about it:
Inner Core 50%
Strong with the weak, weak with the strong. Guys here do very well in their own environment, showing confidence and dominance, but their confidence pretty much disappears around authorities, and around people they either don’t know very well, or see as higher status than them. In those latter cases they resort to submissive behaviour and approval-seeking voice. On one hand, still clear signs of low-status behaviour when that is the key factor holding someone back. On the other hand, still very much unable to say “no” in a variety of circumstances when is instead “diplomacy” holding someone back. My brother and my other uncle are here, in the first group.
The guys which are held back by the submissiveness factor (“diplomacy”) cannot go beyond this level.
Inner Core 60%
Now we are talking. Guys here don’t take shit from anyone, they are strong also with the strong, and actually kind with the weak since they can afford it from an emotional standpoint. Saying “no” is not a problem whatsoever to them, and their frame is overall very solid. There is still some residual bitterness thought, some trivialities are still confused with real problems, and at times there may be bursts of low-status behaviour, which can be quite intense considering that guys in here are not afraid to be on the spotlight, at all. Overall very dominant and confident Vibe, especially compared to most guys. Relative to my age, I’ve been at this level since roughly 16 and until 18 months ago.
Inner Core 70%
Me now. Nothing is a big deal, low-status behaviour has been eradicated almost completely, in control of the emotions pretty much at all times, taking care of people around and especially of the weakest ones of them, kind to everyone, leaving positive vibes behind, very much about the trivialities of life, not taking any shit from anybody under any circumstances, the natural centre of the attention, but still feeling rushed the odd time, still a “normal” person rather than a mythological figure.
Inner Core 80%
A mythological figure these days, nothing is a big deal to him, always in control of his emotions, kind to people, never the slightest feeling of “getting back at someone” for their previous “disrespect.” Simply put, un-fucking-shakeable.
*** *** ***
I would say this is what the distribution looks like in a Western country, especially in the ones where modern feminism has a stronger footprint.
Having a dominant confident Vibe does not imply needing to be the stereotypical “leader or the pack.” If you look at me, I’m quite the opposite of that: if I have a project to lead or a team to manage, I do it with pleasure, like I’ve done successfully multiple times in the past, but I don’t look for these “opportunities” myself. Being the “leader of the pack” requires an element of diplomacy to it, and requires the need to navigate the mood of the group and generate consensus, and I just don’t want to be involved with any of that. I prefer to have light fun interactions with many different groups, where I appear, I perform my show, and then I’m gone, leaving a wake of positive emotions behind. I’m the centre of the attention during those brief interactions and I love it, but remaining there to have long and profound discussions it’s not my cup of tea. I do the latter only with my close friends, with whom I connect at a deep level, and with whom I share the same views on many different things of life (not on girls though, they are pretty much clueless there). I score very low in assertiveness and diplomacy, and I prefer to have people see for themselves how cool I am, without me needing to do any convincing or any persuading, both with guys and girls, both at work and outside work, both with friends and with my family, both with people I’ve known in a long time and with people I’ve only just met. No risk of “qualifying” to girls for me, either I make them swoon with my presence or I don’t even bother, the idea of working to impress someone is just repulsive to me. Not saying that this is ideal (it is to me though), just explaining my way of operating.
I’m more of a freelancer rather than the stereotypical “leader or the pack,” and if you like me are not interested in being that figure, that’s perfectly fine. Actually, that’s even better: if you look closely, most of the so-called “leaders of the pack” have an element of try-hardness in them which is quite evident, they tend to impose their own dictatorial views on their devotees, and when the shit hits the fan for real, these “leaders of the pack” usually start making excuses rather than taking courageous decisions. I’d say those figures don’t go above 50% in terms of Inner Core Vibe as defined above, since people who have their shit together for real, they just don’t need nor want a group of devotees to take care of at all times.
The External 20%
Here we are talking about external conscious movements, which represent only a fraction of the overall Vibe you project. The way you move and you carry yourself will be influenced by the Inner 80% to start with, and this part, which is the biggest contributor to your body language, is something you cannot fake. Then, there are some conscious things you can keep in mind and proactively execute to give your Vibe a boost, and we will cover them in this section.
Let me repeat it once again: the most efficient way to have you Vibe in check is by working on the Inner Core 80%, since the movements we will cover here are just the icing on the cake, and they serve you better from the distance than during a real interaction. There are hundreds of thousands of guides on the Internet dealing with this add-on section here, but I’m not sure how many of them make the clarification I just made on the subject.
The first three things in particular I’ve never seen them explained anywhere else (not that I’ve done extensive reading on the matter online), so let’s start with them.
Camouflage your “tells”
If you have gone through the resources I suggested to learn how to read body language, by now you know that there are certain little movements, called “tells,” which give away the feeling of insecurity and discomfort you are feeling inside. Maybe you are just saying to someone how much you like the new coat you have just bought, but in reality you are second guessing your own decision, you are not sure whether or not that was a good purchase. And after you say “I’m really happy with this purchase,” you proceed to scratch you head or your forehead just a little, to get rid of that feeling of discomfort and self-doubt you were experiencing (Joe Navarro refers to gestures like this as “pacifiers”).
In order to give you Vibe a boost, you want to avoid showing to other people that you have a feeling of insecurity, discomfort, or self-doubt inside you. And so, every time you unconsciously show a pacifier or another tell, you just exaggerate it to hide it. Yes, you exaggerate the movement to hide it, as counterintuitive as it sounds.
For instance, when you say something that triggers some internal self-doubt within you, and it makes you scratch you head as a result, in order for your body to “pacify” itself after experiencing that unpleasant feeling, you just scratch you head for another five seconds: in that way, the unconscious tell (pacifier in this case) will be camouflaged by the conscious deliberate act of scratching of your head, as if it was itching. Most people around you will possibly have no idea whatsoever of how to interpret tells, pacifiers, and body language in general, but the day someone who knows what to look for is around, your tell/pacifier will go unnoticed. Yeah.
Exaggerate low-confidence resembling movements
If you like me have learnt how to read body language, and spent an inordinate amount of time analysing everything that happens around you, reading people through their body movements and facial expressions, then you, like me, know how important it is not to display low-confidence and submissiveness movements. And maybe your Vibe is top-notch, and you never ever display any of that. Fine. Still, at times, some of your movements can resemble a low-confidence/submissive body gesture, and the idea of other people associating you with what those movements are supposed to mean does not impress you at all.
Let’s look at this example: you and a girl are walking towards each other, both of you have noticed each other, but you are both looking straight, playing the Interpersonal Social Game like two pros. You are now next to each other, and with your peripheral vision you see an obstacle on the sidewalk, think of a step or of a souvenir left behind by a dog. In this kind of situation, it’s clever not to take the risk of stumbling / putting your feet into something unpleasant, and it would be only natural for you to look down and see what’s actually in there. Problem is, there is a girl now walking towards you, looking straight and pretending not to have seen you as part of the Interpersonal Social Game, and if you were to look down, that would be clearly interpreted as a submissive gesture. So, what do you do?
Another example is when I need to go down the first step of the stairs, and I would normally look for a split second while positioning my feet on the first step (a vertigo thing I think), but there is a woman going up the stairs and looking me into the eyes, or looking straight while keeping everything under control with her peripheral vision. This kind of things happen to me fairly often. So, what do you do in these cases?
Me, I exaggerate the movement that would have looked as “submissive” or “low-confidence,” to make it clear that the movement is very much a deliberate thing, rather than an unconscious submissive/low-confidence reaction.
Going back to the first example, where I needed to look at an obstacle on the sidewalk to avoid falling over, I would do something like opening my arms slightly, widening my legs widening, you get the idea, as if I was about to overcome a major obstacle. Here in text may seem all a bit artificial, but trust me, in real life it’s the most natural thing to do in order not to take a stupid risk, and not to wrongly signal submissive behaviour.
Another example: if I’m approaching someone while walking, and I need to put my hand inside the pocket of my jacket to take something out, I make sure to exaggerate the movement, possibly looking for a split second at the pocket while I insert my hand, you get the idea. Hiding your hand in a pocket is something you do when you feel exposed, uncomfortable, low-confidence, but exaggerating the movement in this way, nobody can mistake that deliberate gesture for low-confidence/submissive body language.
Lead also when following
The other day I had to revise something with the intern at the office, and everything we had to review was on her desk.
Me: Ok now I’m free to have a look at that
Her: You can come here
Her reply was the most logical and the most efficient one, nothing wrong there. It seems like an order but it was just the most natural thing for her to say. So, what you do reply there?
Nice Guy: Ok
You are into her frame by just saying “ok,” as if she took the decision and you just comply with it. Here is what I said instinctively:
Me: Sure! Let’s do it!
Guys, I’m not a theorist nor an evolutionary-studies kind of guy, but that answer felt just right in that occasion, like taking back the lead of the interaction and giving the blessing to way forward she had just proposed.
Another example. I was in a meeting, and the part which was relevant to me was over. I don’t like to lose time, and I had already notified the organiser of the meeting that I would have left at that point. I made eye contact with him, and he told me:
Him: You can go now, the meeting is no longer interesting for you
Again, what do you say?
Nice Guy: Ok
You are into his frame by just saying “ok,” you are following his lead blindly. Here is what I said instead:
Me: Thank you! (with a relived expression)
Guys, I don’t even know why, but like that it just works smoothly, and you take a lead position in the interaction. You position yourself above the other person, figuratively speaking.
The three points we have covered up to here come exclusively from my first-hand experience, and they just work wonders. Maybe they look a bit artificial to you, but just give them a go after you mastered the art of reading body language, maybe they will make more sense then.
Walk with a purpose
The difference the way you walk can make to your Vibe is huge, HUGE. When you consider that most people don’t put any conscious effort into walking the right confident way, it should be clear how much getting this point right can help you stick out of the crowd. Let’s use this Bond clip as a starting point for our discussion:
I’d say that walk is fairly well executed, much better on the lower-body part than in the upper-body part. This is what Daniel Craig does correctly there:
✓ Feet pointing straight
✓ No sideways upper-body movements
✓ No sideways arm swinging
✓ Walking with a purpose
✓ Shoulders fairly relaxed and not locked
✓ Head straight
✓ Upper body straight
And this is what I think was not great in terms of executing a confident walk:
✗ Walking too fast (to be honest, he had some pressing business to do there…haha)
✗ Not swinging arms backwards-forwards enough
I’d say practice in getting the above nine points right, and after enough practice you will walk like that just naturally. The key is to walk with a purpose, looking straight in the distance, keeping your shoulders relaxed and following the natural backwards-forwards swinging of the arms. Mistakes to avoid are walking like those people that bounce left-right as they rush somewhere, or that swing their arms sideways rather than backwards-forwards only, or that who walk with their shoulders completely locked, as if they were going to a fight, or who walk with their feet at 10:10 o’clock. Feel free to practice the right walk in front of the mirror, especially if you have one at the end of the corridor. Or, if you walk with the sun in the right position behind you, you could actually pay attention to your shade on the sidewalk to check how you are walking.
If you are ever feeling rushed, fight that feeling back, and don’t walk like the people who literarily spend their days rushing in a myriad of little nervous steps from point A to point B. Unless you have a real emergency (a real one) I’d say the max speed should be walking is like Bond in the above clip, but normal speed should be slower than that.
And the most important point of all: the execution of the walk I just described must be natural, remove any try-hard expression off your face and off your body movements, remove any “too cool to be true” gesture and expression, the key is to be confident and real, and this is why the “easiest” was of getting the confident walk right is by working on the Inner Core 80% first, and by knowing what to do in terms of execution then.
Stand straight and don’t slouch, both when walking and when sitting down. To be fair, I tend to slouch often, and I don’t seem to be able to switch from knowledge to habit here.
Avoid low-confidence body positions
Don’t fidget, and don’t assume any of the low-confidence/uncomfortable body positions Joe Navarro talks about in his book. Remember the following:
● Keep your hands out your pockets (we “hide” our hands in the pockets when we are feeling uncomfortable and unsure)
● Avoid closed body language, like crossing arms (we cross our arms as a “defence” mechanism when we feel uncomfortable and/or vulnerable)
● Don’t clench your fists (we tend to do clench our fists when we are feeling tense and stressed)
Don’t lean in
People lean in a variety of everyday situations. When it comes to corporate world, a classical example of people leaning in is during phone calls in a meeting room. There is a conference phone on the table, a group of people around the table, and someone else on the other side of the phone. What happens most of the time is that the person who is talking leans in toward the conference phone. Fact is, moving 20cm backwards or forwards will not change pretty much anything in terms of sound quality for the interlocutor, people get closer to the phone for non-sound related reasons. It’s like they need to get physically closer in order for what they are saying to be taken into account. Always remember to keep your back attached to the back of your seat, avoiding low-confidence body movements like leaning in towards the phone.
Don’t sit in “sprinter” position
The “sprinter” position signal nervousness and tension, hence avoid it. If you ever find yourself in that position, just switch to the position in the right-hand side instead.
Relax your lips
Imagine walking between many people who may or may not be looking at you, think of you going through a dense table area in a posh bar where you are the only person standing. It’s only natural in that kind of situation to feel under the spotlight, and it’s only natural to become a bit more tense as a result.
In situations like this, people tend to press their lips, and that gesture gives away how they are really feeling inside. A much better alternative, which is what I do when I feel slightly uncomfortable and under the spotlight, is to close the two dental arches one on top of the other instead: the lips will be naturally more relaxed and not pressed as a result.
Try this. First, press the lips on top of each other, which is what most people do when feeling under the spotlight and tense/nervous as a result. You will notice that the dental arches are far away. Then, relax your lips and instead put the two dental arches one of top of the other, without applying any force: the lips are now slight apart, and it would be actually pretty difficult to press them with the teeth closed like that. This is my go-to mouth position in situations where I’d normally press my lips, and by putting the dental arches in rest position one on top of the other, I don’t show any tension through my facial expression.
Relax your shoulders
This is a corollary to the above point. When people are a bit more tense than usual, for instance walking past a very attractive girl, a group of people staring, etc, they tend to freeze their shoulders, giving away how they are feeling inside through their body language. Always remember to keep your shoulders fluid, always let them follow the natural backwards-forwards swinging of the arms.
If you ever feel like you are tensing up, make a conscious effort to keep your shoulders fluid, as well as your lips slightly apart, and this will do wonders in terms of your displayed body language.
Keep your glass low
Keeping your arm in a 90° position while holding your glass signals a certain stiffness in the way you feel. Keeping the glass down is an indication of relaxed emotions and open body language. The first few times you may realise all of a sudden that you are holding your glass with a 90° arm, then you just proceed to bring the glass down and assume a more relaxed body language, and eventually you will do this automatically.
Avoid low-status behaviour
On one side, low-status behaviour is when people (losers) resort to manipulations and disrespectful cheating, in order to take personal advantage at the expense of other people who were diligently following the written or unwritten rules of the case. People resorting to that kind of behaviour think they are “cleverer” than the rest of us, but they are just sore losers who try to give themselves some sense of worth by proving how “clever” / “important” they are compared to the others. Examples of this include:
● Driving in a lane which is not jammed, parallel to the lane someone really ought to be using, but in which cars are stationary. Then, much further down the road, forcing their way back into the lane they ought to have stayed in in the first place (that “genius” was clearly “cleverer” than the 20, 30 or 40 cars who stayed in the queue in a civil way)
● While all passengers are queuing in line at the gate to board the aircraft, skipping all the queue from the side and going directly to the boarding desk, without having any priority ticket of course, just because the 150 people who were waiting in line for their turn are clearly “all idiots”
● Parking on the disabled area/on the zebra crossing, when there is an empty car park just 15 meters away
● Parking on the cycle path, forcing cyclists to divert onto the high-traffic road, since the driver in question is clearly “important” and above the rules
● (examples similar to the above are just endless, simply because there are so many losers in this world)
● Passive-aggressive behaviour (a form of emotional manipulation)
● Mistreating staff and people doing humble jobs (a form of emotional manipulation)
● Judging people on their job or salary, rather than their value as individual (a form of emotional manipulation)
On the other side, low-status behaviour is when someone’s sense of self-worth is put in danger by another person, and they react aggressively to get back at them. Examples of this include:
● Being unable to admit a mistake
● Insisting that black is white even in front of undisputable evidence
● Highlighting problems rather than solutions, as if that would stop that project you don’t agree with
● Sabotaging the agreed decision when it wasn’t the one proposed by you
● Honking and shouting at cars who “disrespect” us in traffic
● Playing car battles when an idiot tries to squeeze in front of you in traffic
● Being quick-tempered and shouting at other people
When in the initial Inner Core 80% section I talk about people held back by low-status behaviour, I refer to this second group of behaviours, the impulsive ones. People with impulsive low-status behaviour can go up to 60% and still displaying it the odd time. On the other hand, people displaying the first kind of low-status behaviours, the manipulative/cheating one, cannot go beyond 40%, since they have some relevant internal issues preventing them from moving any further. The manipulative/cheating low-status behaviours are very much Anti-Social Personality Disorder like, little psychopaths if you wish, and in terms of the positive dominant Vibe we are talking about in this post, they just stay there at 40% with the autocrats: both categories can be very dominant, very “imponent,” but in the wrong way, and people just end up resenting them and doing their best to avoid them.
Avoid all type of low-status behaviour this please. In rush-hour traffic, you will see low-status behaviour all around you, of both types. Some people (the losers) just think they are so clever and try to squeeze in front of other cars. Other people (the impulsive) are frustrated and honk and shout at other cars. Other people seem to be still sleeping and miss the rhythm of the regular commuters, creating frustration all around. Other people create massive inefficiencies and in order for them to have a very limited personal gain, they block a line of cars which were going in a direction where there was no traffic whatsoever, but now they are stuck because of that inefficient driver. Etc. Traffic is just a mess, and it’s definitely best avoided if you have the option (flexible working hours, getting a scooter, etc). In recent months I prohibited myself to honk at other cars altogether. The maximum I do is to give a signal with the lights, but only if the other car did something dangerous, not to make up for some “disrespect.” An additional constraint I put on myself in traffic is to do nothing if I have an impulse to do something, meaning that I’m no longer reactive to impulses, but rather everything I do come from a place of emotional control. I’ll give you an example.
Just the other day I was going through some traffic lights, with a camera next to them taking pictures of the cars caught stuck in the middle of the white line, and then sending the fine home. There was only one car in front of me when the light turned green, and usually at least five or six cars can safely go through. The car in front of me turned out to be driven by a clueless old man, probably new to the area. You need to imagine this car crossing the white line with me following behind, then slowing down, unsure of what to do, driven by a typical old man with his chin up a little, looking around, just being clueless, with me halfway through the white line in the meantime (risking a fine if he had not gotten out of the way). From a logical point of view, the person in front of me cold have just gone further away and then decided which way to go, there was not need to take care of that detail straight after the traffic lights. But no, he was there, just being clueless, probably not even knowing about the speed camera. I had an impulse to honk at him, since that kind of clueless behaviour gets on my nerves, but what would I have achieved by that? Nothing, except transferring part of my frustration to him, who was already in clear difficult situation on his own, without needing any extra contribution from me. And so, I killed that impulse of honking at him, and I just did nothing, allowing the situation to solve itself. And it did.
Honking is really bad, it just increases the global nervousness on the road, and I would encourage everyone to stop doing that. Actually, I would encourage all drivers to stop doing things that make other drivers, and their own passengers as well, nervous as a result of their actions.
Kill the approval-seeking voice
This is when your statements have a question mark at the end, which shouldn’t be there. You are basically qualifying to other people, and waiting for them to let you know that you are worth it. Quit doing so.
Kill the submissive voice
This is that cringeworthy childish tone of voice people use when they need to explain themselves, or when they need to ask for a favour, or when they just try to express their own opinions from a place of perceived inferiority. Avoid at all costs.
Fight-off the feeling of rush
When you feel under pressure or you feel like you are late, this will clearly show in you overall Vibe and body language, and the giveaway it gives is that you are not on top of things. It’s normal to feel rushed at times, for instance when you are late for something, but fight that feeling off, since it just ruins your Vibe completely, both while you rush to wherever you need to go, and when you have arrived there.
Remain present in the moment
When you talk to someone, stay present in the interaction and don’t let other things in your mind distract you. This will transmit that you are in control of things and in control of your emotions.
Don’t break circle
If you are talking to someone and someone else calls you, don’t be the first one to look away towards the source of interference. If you are the first one to break eye contact with your interlocutor and look at whoever was calling you, you signal that you don’t cope well under pressure, and guess what? High confidence and dominant people are perfectly comfortable with pressure, and know that looking away from someone when someone else tries to interrupt your conversation is just disrespectful to the interlocutor, as well as signalling what we said previously.
Be comfortable with silence
If every time there is a second of silence you rush to say something to keep the conversation alive, it signals that you are afraid the other person may not be as invested as you are in the conversation. Fight off the feeling to “recover” the conversation, since there is nothing to recover, you are not going to lose the interlocutor just because there is a little pause. And if you are going to lose your interlocutor like that, guess what? It means the other person was not interested enough in you in the first place, hence better for them to filter themselves out, they do you a favour by acting that way.
Using pauses in the right way can do wonders to your interactions.
Speak slower and with a purpose
When you rush to deliver everything you were planning to say without even breathing, it just signals that you think people are not interested in what you have to say, and may lose interest. Hence, don’t do that, speak slowly instead, as if you know that everyone is waiting eagerly for what you have to say.
A different case is when you talk with people who are known to be just rude and to cut other people off. In that case speaking a bit quicker may make sense, but a better option would be to not even bother talking to those people, or to not stop talking when they try to interrupt you. I prefer the first one, since I don’t like those verbal fight with two people talking on top of each other, and if people interrupt me they just don’t deserve to be talking to me, hence bye bye.
Avoid filler words
Just avoid them, they signal you are not even sure yourself of what you are saying.
Don’t scan around
This is very low-status, it’s a pure chasing and pedestalising thing to do. By all means scan the room, but with your peripheral vision only.
Stop saying “sorry”
There is a cultural factor going on here, since in many Countries this problem is much smaller, but if you live in a Country where people keep apologising even just for being alive, then start distinguish yourself and stop saying “sorry.” Only apologise to someone if you have done something serious and disrespectful to them.
Don’t hide between a smartphone
People these days arrive somewhere, and within a fraction of a second they hide behind their phone, as if they had some extremely important business to take care off. No, it’s more a matter of most people having become addicted to their phones. I’m just coming back from a massage at the physiotherapist, and when I arrived in the waiting room there was another person waiting. I acknowledged him, sat down, remained relaxed while doing nothing for one or two minutes, and then extracted my phone and started to have a look. It feels much better like this, rather than someone arriving and within a second already disappearing behind the phone.
Also, when your phone is in your pocket and you hear the notification sound, don’t get your phone out your pocket with an abrupt movement resembling an involuntary reflex. Rather, take a few seconds minimum, then have a look at the phone nonchalantly.
Let’s fight the addition to smartphones and to our modern connected and virtual way of living.
Dress and move like a hetero
If you are a hetero and you want to look like one, just make sure you don’t dress in an overly feminine way. I’m not even going to provide examples here, but just make sure you look masculine. Also, if you want to look like a masculine man, observe some of the more feminine men around you, and just avoid their body language in the way they walk, they stand, they sit, they talk, etc. Modern times are very strange, the most feminine creatures I meet during the day are some of the men, they are much more in peace with and much prouder of their inner feminine side than pretty much all of the girls I see. Fact is, no problem with some men having feminine traits, if they are happy about that I’m happy for them. But here we are talking about constructing a masculine confident and dominant Vibe, hence very different from that feminine behaviour of theirs.
Don’t steal glances in the mirror
When people pass by a mirror or a similar reflective surface in the street, they tend to steal a glance and make sure they are all right. Problem is, this is a classic low-confidence gesture. If you want to have a look at your hair and fix them, don’t steal a glance in the mirror, make it a deliberate gesture lasting a few seconds, since this latter case signals something completely different.
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And this is it for today, take care.